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Immune System Boosters

7 Ways to Have Fun While Fighting Cold and Flu

By , Caring.com contributing editor
93% helpful
massage

Getting a cold or the flu is no fun. But it turns out you can have a pretty good time trying to prevent these sicknesses. Many easy-to-do, easy-to-like actions have been shown to give the immune system a boost. And having stronger immunity means you have better odds of withstanding all the cold and flu germs in circulation at this time of year. See seven ways you can boost your immune system now.

1. Treat Yourself to a Massage to Fight a Cold

Massage -- whether given by a strong-armed loved one or a pro -- does more than unclench your muscles. It helps reduce cortisol (a.k.a. the "stress hormone") and increases immune response. In a 2010 Cedars-Sinai study, healthy adults who received regular Swedish massage over five weeks were found in blood tests to have significant increases in lymphocytes, disease-fighting white blood cells. Other research shows that other forms of touch, like hugs and hand-holding, also reduce stress hormones.